David Stearns says Mets are ‘invested’ in keeping Pete Alonso in New York

Aside from trying to return to the postseason, the biggest storyline heading into the 2024 season is the future of Pete Alonso with the Mets.

Alonso is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and there has been no sign that a contract extension will be agreed upon before then. While that can change, it seems both parties are willing to let the season play out.

Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns was a guest on Wednesday’s episode of the Foul Territory podcast and was asked about Alonso.

“Pete’s a really good player. He’s performed on a big stage here for a long time. I know that we all know that. I know how important he is to the fan base,” Stearns said. “Where we are right now, where Pete is, everyone is going to focus on this year.

Stearns added: “The best thing for us is for Pete to have a great year and the best thing for Pete is to have a great year, and we’ll go forward from there. We’re certainly invested in keeping Pete a Met and I’m hopeful, over time, we’ll be able to work that out.”

Stearns has been tight-lipped and one-note whenever he’s been asked about Alonso this offseason. Whether he’d like to “keep those conversations out of the public dialogue” or that Alonso is the Opening Day first baseman (and that’s it), this is the first time Stearns offered a bit more on the situation.

But the first-year Mets POBO is right about one thing, a successful 2024 includes Alonso having his typical season. Stearns is bullish on this Mets team, and believes the 75-win team from a year ago is not indicative of what they can be.

“I think the guys who were on the team last year believe that the group that was here last year and the group moving forward is significantly better than the win total of 2023 would demonstrate,” Stearns said. "If we put all of our players in the best position to succeed, I think we're going to have a really good year."

Perhaps there’s something to that. PECOTA’s latest standings see the Mets winning, on average, 83.6 games and making the playoffs as a Wild Card. FanGraphs even has the Mets winning 81.3 games on average.

How much better will the 2024 Mets be than last year is still to be determined. But for Alonso and the Mets, as they head into contract negotiations, they hope it’s much better.